Granting NATO membership to ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia could undermine European security, Russia`s president-elect Dmitry Medvedev said in a newspaper interview published on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
His warning came before a NATO summit in Bucharest next week at which alliance members are expected to consider requests from the two countries` pro-Western leaders to set them on the path to NATO membership.
"We are not happy about the situation around Georgia and Ukraine," the Financial Times newspaper quoted Medvedev as saying in the interview.
"We consider that it is extremely troublesome for the existing structure of European security. ... No state can be pleased about having representatives of a military bloc to which it does not belong coming close to its borders."
Ukraine and Georgia are lobbying NATO to grant them a Membership Action Plan, which is seen as the first step towards joining the alliance. Washington has said it backs their bid, but some NATO members in Europe are cool on the idea.
Medvedev will be sworn in on May 7 to replace his mentor, outgoing President Vladimir Putin. A 42-year-old former law professor, Medvedev won a March 2 presidential election by a huge margin.